excellent set of articles ....
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Life and death on Mount Rainier
Before the storm erased the cobalt-blue sky and before death closed in, four ill-fated Mount Rainier National Park visitors were shown their future by a 21-year-old college intern.
Two backpackers and two climbers getting a late start on their trek up the Muir Snowfield on Jan. 13 crossed paths with intern ranger Carrie Tomlinson about 1:30 p.m., less than a mile from their cars.
Tomlinson gave them the avalanche and weather forecasts even though all four said they’d already checked. Then she pointed west at the grey clouds in distance.
“I said, ‘All that is going to be showing up here,’” Tomlinson said. “... They kind of, like, shrugged and said, ‘Thanks.’”
Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/02/19/2032604/life-and-death-on-the-mountain.html
Incidents renew debate on who should pay for rescues
Among search-and-rescue personnel and park leadership, there is no desire to charge people who need to be rescued. Those are services, they argue, that should be provided without expense.
The debate has been renewed by a series of searches this winter at Mount Rainier National Park.
The National Park Service’s current stance is not to charge visitors for search-and-rescue costs, said Randy King, park superintendent. Part of the Park Service’s mission is to provide the public the opportunity to enjoy the natural lands protected by the parks.
Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/02/19/2032643/incidents-renew-debate-on-who.html
Rainier incidents rekindle debate over requiring beacons
After a two-hour snowshoe hike turned into a two-night battle to survive a blizzard last month on Mount Rainier, Jo Johnson decided it was time to go shopping.
On the Lacey resident’s list of new survival gear was a personal locator beacon that would have allowed her to send a distress signal and her coordinates to rescuers via satellite.
She and her boyfriend, Jim Dickman of Vancouver, Wash., had the skills and enough equipment to survive, but nobody was looking for them, and after a day it became obvious they could use help, Johnson said. Instead they were left to their own wits to survive.
“I will carry one (a beacon) now,” Johnson said. “And I would recommend other people do too.”
Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/02/19/2400615/incidents-rekindle-debate-over.html
Winter at Rainier: 'It's perilous to some and paradise to others'
When the sky is clear and the snowfields sparkle under the brilliant sun, Paradise lives up to its reputation as one of the best places to play in the snow. The area attracts sledders, skiers, snowshoers, campers, climbers and those just looking to throw a snowball or two.
On a busy weekend, hundreds of people flock to the most popular winter destination at Mount Rainier National Park to take advantage of one of the snowiest spots on Earth.
“Who doesn’t like that quintessential pastoral image of a blanket of snow, the calm ... that feeling of Christmas,” said Stefan Lofgren, director of Mount Rainier National Park’s climbing program. “And the farther you get away from Paradise the more you can experience the quiet austerity of the wilderness.”
Beyond peace and tranquility, that winter wilderness – one of the snowiest places on earth - also offers challenges that lure those wanting to test their skills.
Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/02/19/2032720/news-brief-19hikefuns.html